PDA

View Full Version : Replacement barrel for a British 303?


kplender
September 29, 2010, 05:20 PM
I have an old British 303 that my dad gave me when I was a kid for deer/elk hunting. The last time I shot it (probably 20 years agao), the bullet would literally hit the target sideways at 50 yards. The barrel is completely "shot out". Is it worth getting a new barrel for this gun? If so, where would I find one? And, what would I expect to pay? Thanks in advance!!

Tikirocker
September 29, 2010, 05:34 PM
G'day KP,

Try Springfield Sporters in your neck of the woods for parts. Are you absolutely sure the barrel is shot out? I am not doubting it but more playing Devils Advocate in case there is life in the old girl yet. If you have no rifling left fair enough but if there is rifling there, you might want to try Slugging the bore before swapping the barrel out. If the bore is worn and the projectile is undersize, then you might well get tumbling or key holing. I know that many of our members at the Enfield Forums have slugged and then matched for their bore and had no further problems. Might be worth a try at any rate.

Best, Tiki.

deadcoyote
September 29, 2010, 05:46 PM
I've had similar issues. Cheap solution is provided above, if your bore is all the way out to say .316 then order some custom slugs. I got mine from glenhills cast bullets. they were really reasonable. I've seen one shop that rebarrels enfields with new stainless barrels but it goes for about $275. at that price buy a new enfield. You can google Enfield 7.62x39 conversion and you'll probably locate the company, they do normal caliber/s as well.

lefteyedom
September 29, 2010, 08:18 PM
I am the president of the $100 saddle on a $10 mule club, bearing that in mind.

If it is in stock form then order a replacement barrel from Numrich.


If the rifle has but customized and you want to keep it and use it, then spend the money and have a good quality barrel installed. If you wanted to it could be rebarreld in 30/40 Kraig, 45/70 or may be 348 Winchester. There are a ton of wildcats based on the 303, 25/303 is a fine one.

Have fun with it.;)

Tikirocker
September 29, 2010, 08:32 PM
Keep in mind that once the rifle is re-chambered to another cal and sportered, any value it once had will be gone along with the change over. What some people think is a mule may well be a pony and worth more than you even know ... there are rifles in the Enfield family that are worth plenty, but most punters have no idea what they have!

If you want to know ... visit the Enfield forum link in my sig.

Best, Tiki.

lefteyedom
September 29, 2010, 08:59 PM
A 303 with a shot out barrel and no historical provenance is a $90 rifle.

Yes some rifles do have hidden value, but most are just what they are and there is nothing wrong with that.


Battle rifles where and still are like cars. When parts broke they were replaced (the part). At some point they are worth more as parts than as complete cars. So what do you do>? Some say scrape them and get as much as you can for them. Others say put it in a museum. I say build a hot rod out of it and drive the heck out of it. The choice is up to you the owner.

Tikirocker
September 29, 2010, 09:05 PM
"A 303 with a shot out barrel and no historical provenance is a $90 rifle."


It very much depends on the rifle ... there are many rare or valuable Enfields out there that would be big money, worn barrel or not. The restoration of a .303 barrel is always a safer bet than a re-chamber. There would be plenty of people who would pick up a MkV Enfield and think it was a $90 rifle ... by all means, sell it to me for that much. ;)

Tiki.

kplender
October 5, 2010, 01:30 PM
Please explain "slugging the bore".

Tikirocker
October 5, 2010, 01:38 PM
KP,

Here is a tutorial from our parent site on slugging and matching for your bore.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/reloading/slug/index.asp

Best, Tiki.

smokiniron
August 10, 2012, 01:13 PM
I saw a comment by lefteyedom about converting an old 303 British to 45-70. I have on old Enfield with the rifling shot out and would like to bring the old girl back to life. The front upper stock piece is missing, but most all else is there. The serial numbers on the barrel and receiver match. Questions:

Is there any value to this old weapon that would suggest selling it 'as-is'?
Any estimates on re=barreling to 303 British? And how much?
I'm, intrigued by the idea of converting to another caliber like the 45-70. How costly is that option?

Location is Salt Lake City, Utah. Any recommended gunsmiths here?

Thanks!

NickySantoro
August 10, 2012, 02:01 PM
OP,
First verify that the barrel is indeed shot out and that the problem is not caused by a damaged crown, a repairable situation. Try Ebay and Gunbroker for barrels.
FWIW
YMMV

Scorch
August 10, 2012, 02:48 PM
To convert a SMLE to 45-70 is not a huge deal. You will need a barrel (about $100-$150 at the low end), a chamber reamer (you can rent one for about $75 or buy one for about $100), and a gunsmith who is willing to do the work (I would guess you will pay about $300-$400 for barreling, chambering, bluing, and modifying the action to feed correctly), so you are looking at about $600-ish all told for a conversion. You could buy a rifle already chambered for 45-70 for about the same, but it wouldn't be "special", if you know what I mean.

Your sporterized Lee-Enfield likely has little or no collector value, they made literally millions of them.

wogpotter
August 10, 2012, 02:55 PM
There is one other possibility. Some Enfields reallly, really HATE boat tail bullets. 2-groove rifled ones seem to be more prone to it as well, so if you have a 2-groove one really try a FB bullet & see what happens.:eek:

Try some flat base bullets & see if that fixes the problem. Keyholing at 50 Yds is pretty symptomatic of the boat tail problem.

smokiniron
August 10, 2012, 10:34 PM
Thanks, all.....
Yeah... just trying to save an old gun. Maybe I should put a bayonet on it and lean it by the front door - in case someone borrows my baseball bat!

madcratebuilder
August 11, 2012, 07:02 AM
There is one other possibility. Some Enfields reallly, really HATE boat tail bullets. 2-groove rifled ones seem to be more prone to it as well, so if you have a 2-groove one really try a FB bullet & see what happens.

Try some flat base bullets & see if that fixes the problem. Keyholing at 50 Yds is pretty symptomatic of the boat tail problem.


+1000
This is a more common occurrence than encountering a totally shot out LE barrel.

Slamfire
August 11, 2012, 07:37 AM
I don't know where you can get a replacement barrel.

Original 303 barrels were easy to replace, they have that Knox form on the breech. You swap bolt heads to get the headspace.

DPris
August 11, 2012, 11:49 AM
Smok,
Barlow's Custom Guns in West Valley, 801-973-4788.
Be prepared to wait months & pay a bundle, IF he's interested in doing it.
I doubt he would be, but it's worth a phone call & I'm not aware of anybody else I'd trust with it in Utah.

I actually had one of the Gibbs Enfield .45-70 conversions, had Barlow sell it for me about four years ago.
Denis

smokiniron
August 17, 2012, 11:22 AM
Thanks to all, including Depris for the Barlow's Custom reference in Utah. I'm glad to know a good gunsmith if needed.

DPris
August 17, 2012, 12:30 PM
Been doing regular business with Barlow since '84.
Think I've paid for two trucks & half his house over the years. :)
Denis

smokiniron
August 17, 2012, 05:32 PM
I hope he named his first-born after you! :)

DPris
August 17, 2012, 06:33 PM
:)
Denis

wogpotter
August 18, 2012, 07:53 AM
Theres one posted for sale on "Gunboards" right now.

smokiniron
August 18, 2012, 10:09 AM
Thanks! I'll check it.